Capitalism, Issues

The Truth About Capitalism

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One of the chief objectives of globalism is to transfer wealth from rich nations to poor nations. To the equality-of-results crowd it

Image Credit: J.H. Romanes Public domain

sounds great, because they don’t understand that spreading the wealth actually makes everyone poorer.

The main reason I’m against giving handouts to countries who destroy themselves through their socialist policies is that it sends the wrong message. We should not lie to such countries about the morality and merits of capitalism. The greatest gift we can offer is to help them understand that freedom is not about security or equality; it’s about insecurity and inequality.

We should teach them that the price of freedom is self-responsibility, and self-responsibility means that no one has a right to a house, a car, a job — no, not even healthcare. What everyone does have a right to is exactly what others are willing to pay him, free of government interference.

Those who think otherwise are responsible for our $20 trillion national debt and a federal budget deficit that is projected to be in the area of $500 billion and rising. Economic security is not a right, but it sure is a formula for disaster.

If we continue to subsidize bankrupt nations around the globe, we will be encouraging them to believe that capitalism is about security and equality. That, in turn, will cause them to be disillusioned when they find out the hard way that it is not. If instead we focus our efforts on educating them to understand that capitalism is about freedom of choice, self-responsibility, and risk, we will be doing them a great favor.

Unfortunately, progressives (as well as many phony conservatives) do not seem to understand this, especially wealthy faux liberals who are immune to the effects of socialist policies in Washington. I was reminded of this a couple weeks ago when a casual acquaintance of mine invited me to a social gathering at his home. In a moment of temporary insanity, and after being assured that no members of Black Lives Matter, the American Civil Liberties Union, or the Communist Party USA would be in attendance, I agreed to drop by.

I tend to be a target at limousine-liberal gatherings, and, sure enough, a middle-aged gentleman of means came up to me and, from out of the blue, sneered, “Capitalism is the most evil system ever invented.” He obviously was trying to get my goat.

Displaying my finest George Will deadpan expression, I asked how an intelligent, successful gentleman like him had managed to arrive at such a fascinating conclusion. To which he groused, “Under capitalism, the poor are exploited by the rich.” Yikes — it was the ghost of Vladimir Lenin!

Masochist that I am, I asked him to define the terms rich and poor for me, but he simply waived aside my question as though it were frivolous. My acquaintance’s wife then intervened and admonished us that political discussions were forbidden in her house, thus preventing a Sunday afternoon homicide.

Darn. I didn’t even get a chance to see the expression on his face had I been able to lay this one on him: The gap between the rich and the poor is supposed to increase under capitalism! That’s right, folks. Like it or not, it’s built into the system.

But hold on: Also built into the system is the fact that almost everyone is better off under capitalism. Why? Because trickle-down economics really does work! Try finding a Republican politician who will admit to that.

The U.S. government’s own Census Bureau’s statistics confirm this truth. Average-income figures clearly show that during the Reagan years, almost everyone’s income rose significantly, while during the Carter years, most people got poorer. Does anyone seriously believe that voters kicked Carter out of office and gave Reagan two landslide victories because they were better off under Carter and worse off under Reagan?

What was in play during the Reagan years was the so-called invisible hand of the marketplace. When people realize they can reap financial rewards by providing better goods and services to others, they work harder and longer hours to do so. As a result, the economy prospers and everyone is better off.

On the other hand, the more government interferes with this natural process, the worse off everyone is. How far mankind has advanced is not a reflection of his true potential; it is his true potential minus government interference. Those who believe that a strong central government is needed to manage a nation’s economy simply do not understand the awesome power of the invisible hand of the marketplace.

Which takes me back to the growing disparity between the rich and the poor (setting aside, for now, the important question of who has the omniscience and moral authority to decide who should be slotted into these two categories in the first place). In a mythical, totally free society, if everyone were to start with nothing, some people would become “rich” while others would become “poor.”

Now, stop and think about that for a moment. Wouldn’t natural forces assure that the most successful people would become even more successful over time and thus increase the gap between themselves and those who have not been as successful? After all, they would be using the same talents, efforts, and self-discipline that made them better off in the first place.

I’d love to see the Trump administration set aside childish notions and tell the truth about this “income inequality” garbage. Of course the gap between the rich and the poor increases under capitalism. But that, of and by itself, does not harm anyone. (Remember, the pie is not fixed.) The only problem is the one caused by venomous progressive thinkers who have unilaterally decided that such a gap is not “fair.” Which, of course, is merely their subjective opinion.

Personally, I don’t think of the increasing gap between the rich and the poor as fair or unfair. It’s simply reality. However, I do believe the fact that successful people tend to become even more successful is fair, provided they achieve their success on a non-coercive basis. Why shouldn’t a person be allowed to become as successful as his talents and hard work will take him?

That said, I believe the first step toward regaining our lost freedoms is to totally defeat progressive subjectivism. Go-along-to-get-along conservatives need to come to grips with the reality that compromise does not work, because it encourages a lie, and lies simply do not work.

Of course, the progressive is free to think whatever makes him feel good at any given moment. However, he should not be allowed to force others to give up their freedom to accommodate his arrogant notion of one of the most abstract ideas known to man: fairness. Fairness is a subjective word, right up there with “social justice.”

To paraphrase the great Milton Friedman, the only social justice that makes any sense is for everyone to keep what he earns in a totally free market.

This is a guest post by Robert Ringer an American icon whose unique insights into life have helped millions of readers worldwide. He is also the author of two New York Times #1 bestselling books, both of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time.
  • ctroop

    Like it or not, it is true nonetheless … “A rising tide lifts all boats.” The liberals hate this great little saying because that rising tide doesn’t make anyone’s boat any bigger! Working harder won’t do it either. If you want a bigger boat you’ll have to try working smarter.

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